PS chocolate bar left on murdered woman's thigh

2017-09-11 17:46
Guatemalan murder accused Diego Novella  (File, Gallo Images)

Guatemalan murder accused Diego Novella (File, Gallo Images)

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Cape Town - From the PS chocolate bar left on her thigh, to the word written on her body, the scene where American marketing specialist Gabriella Kabrins Alban lay dead in a Camp's Bay Hotel was one of the strangest ever encountered by police, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

Captain Wayne Nachtmann, the Western Cape's only specialist in psychologically motivated crimes, said he had been summoned to the scene at the hotel in July 2015 because it was so unusual.

Her body was half naked, there was a hair straightener protruding from between her private parts, the word "cerote" was written on her body, and the room at the upmarket hotel was a mess.

There were chips on her face and a brown substance all over her body.

As Nachtmann recalled these details for prosecutor Mornay Julius, Kabrins Alban's father Howdy sobbed, putting his hands over his face.

"We googled the word 'cerote'," Nachtmann continued.

"And, according to the Google definition, the word in Spanish means 'piece of excrement'. Or, in the Guatamalan language, it says, 'You have done something wrong with me'."

Nachtmann said he had sat with Kabrins Alban's Guatemalan boyfriend Diego Novella after he was taken in for questioning by police, and had described the scene at the hotel to the accused.

Also read: 'He was not in love with her' - Gabriella's mother on murder-accused boyfriend

However, the man had just looked back him.

Admissibility of the recording

Novella sat in the dock, listening to the painstakingly slow proceedings being held to check the minutiae of whether processes were followed when he was taken in for questioning.

A trust fund beneficiary from a well-off family, a very pale Novella wore a white shirt and loose black jacket, with his hair swept back.

His hands shook very slightly as he sat in the dock. He is currently in the hospital section of Pollsmoor Prison, after being found fit to stand trial.

He has pleaded not guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility due to drug intoxication.

The court is currently going through a "trial within a trial" to establish whether a cellphone recording of Nachtmann's interview with Novella is admissible.

Nachtmann is only allowed to answer questions about the procedures he followed, and may not answer any questions that could incriminate Novella until Judge Vincent Saldanha has ruled on the admissibility of the recording.

Much of the morning was consumed by whether Novella could be heard saying "yes" when asked by police if he understood his rights.

When his advocate William Booth disagreed that Novella could be heard saying "yes", Saldanha told the prosecution to find a forensic sound specialist to make Novella's voice more audible.

Some of the questions that were not allowed to be answered included the subject of the books and DVDs found in Novella's room and the story behind his tattoos.

Read: Lawyer claims murder-accused Diego Novella was ‘hit’ by sick girlfriend

Read more on:    diego novella  |  courts

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